With #30DaysWild coming to an end I wanted to take the time to look back over the month to see what worked, what we learnt and what we could take away from the experience.
A test of my creativity
I would say that it tested my creativity. To research, think of and implement a wild activity every day was a challenge for sure. Especially as it was mostly after work when I had a window to do something so everyone was on the edge of tired and grumpy. Being greeted by Edie’s excited face each evening though as she asked, “What are we doing for 30 days wild today Daddy?” was enough motivation.
An alternative to…
To the everyday routine. To television. To us all staring at different screens. Doing something wild everyday made us get up, get out and spend some really quality time together. Edie and I learnt and discovered things together. Seeing the excitement in her face when we heard a Song Thrush, discovered a ladybird larvae or identified a flower with Dog in its name (Dog Fennels) was enough to make me want to know more about the natural world. I found myself researching cloud types, reading about the life cycles of beetles and trying to work out how to explain why some animals are meat eaters while others are vegetarian.
A mindful experience?
The focus on the natural world around us definitely had positive side effects. Whenever I’m outside, whether it’s walking to work, gardening or exploring the Surrey countryside with the family, I now look closer, listen harder and take the time to slow down and appreciate what’s around me. This not only helps slow my heart rate but I have found that it also calms down the noisy, jumbled thoughts in my head. I genuinely feel healthier, more grounded and that life has a better balance. From what I understand about mindfulness this ticks a lot of the boxes. It was definitely good for my mental well-being. I think the same goes for the rest of the family too.
Top 3 wild activities
I thought that I would pick my top 3 random acts of wildness.
1. Making a bee watering station – Both kids (aged 3 and 1) were able to get involved with making this which is a big thumbs up. But we also got so much value from it throughout the whole month. Bees and other bugs use it everyday. It needs topping up most days so that gets us outside and knowing that we are helping the bees do their vital work makes this my top recommendation.
2. Leaf animals and leaf people – I only thought of this towards the end of the month otherwise I think we would have done it at least once a week. Such a simple activity but it was so much fun. It got us all involved and will be something we do on most walks from now on. Set the kids the task of collecting materials as we walk and then make something with them at the end.
3. Stone towers – This is up there for its simplicity. All you need is some stones and vaguely flat surface. It kept us all entertained for ages. Along with the leaf craft it is something that we could do anywhere.
As you can probably tell we had a lot of fun and will definitely be joining in again next year. In the meantime we will be adding a little bit of wild to our everyday I think. Even if it is only standing still outside for two minutes to look, listen and breath it all in. Membership with Surrey Wildlife Trust might be on the cards too. Especially as they are offering a free butterfly kit when you sign up at the moment. Edie would be so excited!